Emma, a chestnut and white paint miniature horse, had been abandoned in the woods with another horse, Duncan, a Standardbred gelding, by their owner. The starving pair were in a paddock with no shelter, no food and a filthy pond for water. Occasionally hunters would pass through and give them a little corn.
Emma, above, ready for her trip to Popcorn Park, and below, her hooves when she first arrived at the interim location.
A woman in Frenchtown became aware of the two horsesí plight, persuaded the owner to sign them over, and brought them back to her farm. She contacted Mylestone Equine Rescue who undertook the expenses of the two horsesí vet and farrier care, but there wasnít room on the rescue farm for two more horses. Both horses were severely underweight, and Emmaís hooves terribly overgrown.
As it happened, AHS/Popcorn Parkís graphic artist, Jeanne Balsam, had been in touch with John Bergmann and had been keeping her eye our for a small female mini or donkey that might fit in with Mickey the Appaloosa. Mickey was alone and in need of a friend after Holly, our Sicilian Donkey had passed away of old age.
When Susankelly mentioned the plight of Emma and Duncan, the wheels started turning, and through a few conversations, a placement plan was made - Mylestone would take Duncan if Popcorn Park could take Emma. Popcorn Park was perfect for Emma because itís in the Pinelands and canít support lush pasture; Emma had foundered and needed a controlled-portion diet to maintain an even weight.
Our very sweet Emma and her overnight surprise, Sunshine.
On May 12th, two trailers arrived at the Frenchtown location so both horses could leave together, neither to feel left behind. Duncan, needing over 250 pounds, left for Mylestone, and six year-old Emma, still underweight, began her journey to Popcorn Park. Despite the veterinarian having supplied medications to the couple in Frenchtown to give her, Emma required additonal treatment for external and internal parasites, and she was quarantined when she arrived.
Sunshine enjoying herself at Popcorn Park.
She was finally ready to be introduced to Mickey, when she surprised everyone with ... a foal! John Bergmann calls her a miracle foal - that she survived Emmaís long starvation and treatment with de-wormers and is in perfect health is nothing less. Named Sunshine after another horse rescued by Popcorn Park some time ago and because she greeted her first day in bright sunlight, she is doing fine, as is mama Emma. The two will stay together at Popcorn Park and kick up their heels with joy. To make this ending even sweeter, Duncan, after his rehabilitation, found a wonderful home through Mylestone.
Update February 2016 - Sadly, Emma passed away but Sunshine is still available for sponsorship in the Wildlife Club.